2 weeks away from home

I went “back east” a couple weeks ago and stayed for 2 weeks for school. I’d had this planned out for months… it was such a good plan in my mind. I’d have a new baby and could take him home and he could bond with his family that lives so far away while I did my specialty rotations for school. And on the weekend in between, Jesse would travel back east, too, and we would have Jackson baptized. Brilliant. um, or not…

Yes, Jackson got amazing quality bonding time with almost all of his family. THAT I do not regret.

proud, proud grandpa rog... no pics of gamma mary, as she was usually behind the camera.

proud, proud grandpa rog… no pics of gamma mary, as she was usually behind the camera.

tv time with papa steve

tv time with papa steve

great grandma #1 (she's 85)

great grandma #1 (she’s 85)

great grandma #2 (she's 84)

great grandma #2 (she’s 84)

And the baptism went well. I was so happy to have him baptized by our favorite priest in the church where we were married. Before I went back east I kinda forgot I would need a cake and food for all these people, but ended up ordering what I needed when I got there, and it was great.

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if you know us, you are totally un-surprised that Jackson has 4 Godparents instead of the standard 2.

if you know us, you are totally un-surprised that Jackson has 4 Godparents instead of the standard 2.
Jackson loved having the warm water pour on his little head.

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BUT… for me? The 2 week stent of having my newborn away from our home and my husband was very stressful.  It made my anxiety boil at times. I was attempting to get (any) sleep at night, be professional and intelligent during the day, shuffle my baby hither and skither with all of his necessary stuff, deal with my mother in law giving me attitude about the amount of time she was getting with the baby (augh…), pumping enough to feed the baby during the day, as well as plan a baptism that 30+ people were planning on attending. Oh, and go to class somewhere in there and get my homework done. PLUS graciously attend a baby shower my in-laws threw us.

{ and just for fun… I got a migraine on the second Monday there. Tell ya what… single mothers are a wonderment to me. How does one get sick with a newborn and no help?? It is beyond me. I had LOTS of help, GREAT help. THANK GOD. }

getting home to my husband was so relieving.  for all of us.

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Here’s the good thing: Jackson did great. He was happy. Thriving. He didn’t know momma was nutty. So it was all good.

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Happy Halloween!

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post-partum

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cutest baby EBBA. (that’s what I tell him everyday).

Saturday I finally went for a run. with the BOB and my baby and the dog. and you know what?? it felt great! and logistically, went pretty well. it wasn’t very fast or very far. and I had to walk up the big-big hill, but STILL. sunday my legs burned – that super good burn. ahhh.

things have been up and down since bringing home Jackson. at first, mostly down. that must be normal, right? being hospitalized at 8 days post-birth threw a wrench in things. breastfeeding was overwhelming. and going back to school made me walk the line of sanity more than once. not to mention, Jackson still throws back at least 25% of every feeding… usually exclusively on me. I don’t feel like I’ve developed post-partum depression. but I have however, diagnosed myself with post-partum anxiety. for real, no joke.

at 6 weeks post-partum, things are improving on most fronts. I have the breastfeeding under control, only pumping an extra 8 oz or so daily. i’m sorta figuring out how to juggle school (turns out A’s are not the only options, there are B’s TOO!). the up–chucking by the baby continues, but is improving slightly with my deletion of dairy from my diet, which sucks. my hubby is sorta getting better at not jumping out of bed to check if Jackson is breathing. or asking me 8,000 times every night “is this okay?” I appreciate his real, true concern. I do. I just wish he’d tone it down about 6 notches sometimes. but he tells me everyday that i’m a great mommy. that he can’t believe how amazing I am. you can’t ask for anything better than that to lift you up, even when you don’t believe it.

the anxiety continues, however. I can’t do something idle-ly, like go to Target while someone watches the baby, without suddenly feeling like I should abandon my full cart and drive straight back to my baby. and, when I think of school, my head spins and my heart races. I just spent 2 weeks (yes, weeks) with my 5-6 week old baby “back home” on the opposite side of the state, without my husband. (post about that to follow). Talk about an anxiety inducer! I am so glad to be back home! so anyway, hopefully it won’t continue to snow from now until April and i’ll be able to continue taking Jackson out for run/jogs, because it really helps with the anxiety. and ya’ll can hate me if you want, but I don’t need to exercise to lose baby weight – i’m actually about 10 pounds less than my pre-preg weight right now. I contribute it to 3 things: breastfeeding, taking clomid to help conceive (it made me gain about 5 pounds before I get pregnant), and my hyper-anxiety. at least my weight is not an anxiety inducing worry right now.

but, my body is definitely different since delivering. and for some dumb reason my linea nigra is crooked. see?

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weird, eh?? whatever, not a swimsuit model anyways.

that’s all I have time to write about for now. in fact, this post was 3 days in the making. and I don’t even want to proof-read it, so if it’s a little scatter-wompus, that’s why. I miss my blogging outlet… hopefully i’ll get back to it regularly soon!

 

the first month

Like I said last night, I cannot believe this little man is a month old. Actually, I take that back… considering how much we’ve done and been through, I can believe it… in fact, he should be about 4 months old based on life experiences. That’s what he gets for being born into a busy, busy family.

our birth announcements... my mom took this picture when he was about 5 days old.

our birth announcements from tinyprints.com… my mom took this picture when he was about 5 days old.

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in the last month we’ve gotten to know the little man that was busy growing inside of me for the previous 40 weeks.

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we’ve learned that he is impatient, strong willed, and serious.

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but that he will melt into your arms when his tummy’s full. and he could care less if his diaper is dirty.

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we love daddy snuggles

we’ve learned that bath times are wonderful until we are out of the water… then they suck.

first real bath

first real bath

 

we’ve endured momma in the hospital. two 800 mile round-trips back east. a blizzard with a power outage. sending momma back to school. and he’s still a happy guy, I think.

 

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ready for our 1 month check-up… 9 pounds, 13 ounces!

first tummy time

first tummy time

put our uggs on for the snowstorm :)

put our uggs on for the snowstorm 🙂

 

we love staring at books. and ripping the paci out of our own mouth.

we love staring at books. and ripping the paci out of our own mouth.

moby time with momma

moby time with momma

 

 

what i miss.

I love my baby to pieces. itty bitty squishable ones. it’s been an amazing month… (a MONTH, wth, where does time go???)

but there are a few things that are missing, possibly never to be found.

  1. sleep. oh, sleep, how I did not adequately appreciate you. even 3rd trimester sleep beats what semblance of laying down with my eyes closed that I call “sleep” now.
  2. my pregnant belly. it was nice to rub my belly. to talk to my belly. to take care of him without trying. my pregnant belly is completely gone. totally flat, semi-loose skin. crooked linea nigra (how did that happen?) who know I liked being round quite so much?
  3. my posture. seriously… i’m such a sloucher right now. between the “breastfeeding hunch” and hormones keeping everything a little loosy-goosy still, I really feel like I could use a corset to make me sit up straight.
  4. my “normal” boobs. these things are porn-star quality. always thought having boobies would be awesome. but boobies that leak and grow and hurt are. not. awesome.
  5. time. to pee. to shower. to brush my teeth. I’ve relinquished the daily shower… because i’m too darn lazy. (I have actually peed while holding the baby. sorry Jackson. promise I washed my hand(s!))
  6. running. see above reason.
  7. (close your eyes mom) sex with my husband.
  8. life before maxi pads. get out of my life box of always infinity. you’ve worn out your welcome.

I’m sure there are more things. but, because my brain fell out sometime in the last 4 weeks (yeah, I miss that thing, too)… I can’t remember anything else. I survive on lists, small crying break-downs, and mountain dew (don’t judge me).  And yet, it’s worth it. It is. Nothing has been more worth it.

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the simple. and the complicated.

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loving my son is simple. it’s easy and as natural as breathing, as involuntary as my heart beating.

but I’m not sure I’m enough.

I had to start clinicals this week. I had to leave my baby with his nanny, who loves him, but who is not me. I’m am ridiculously jealous of her. I keep telling myself to forge on, finish, and make the McMillan household a more financially stable place to live. I will not quit school. I will not give up. But I just wish… it wasn’t so complicated. I wish my 12 weeks of maternity leave from my job that actually pays me, could also be a leave from school, for which I pay. I wish I could spend every hour of every day with Jackson. My Wookie.  (I know, if I actually had to spend every hour of every day with him, I’d beg for a little break – wanting what we can’t have is tough).

I pray a lot. For strength. Courage. Compassion on myself.  I am so hard on me. I feel like a not-as-good mommy. I am tired, but I am trying.

Even though breastfeeding isn’t easy – it’s time consuming and it’s 100% dependent on me – I am considering myself more and more lucky that I can do it, and do it abundantly despite stress, sickness, and fairly extreme weight loss.  I will give him that gift. I cannot be with him every hour of every day, but I can nourish him when I am away. I am trying.

And, I am getting better at letting my husband help, he is getting better at helping. It’s a mommy thing, I think, to feel we know best, but I am trying.

One of my best friends sent me a link to a blog post about taking care of yourself as a new momma. Please, if you are a new momma, read it. I printed it off, folded it up, put it in my photo album in my pumping bag, and have it at my disposal whenever I need to remind myself that I am trying, and I am doing ok.

but on a much better, more beautiful note, these are Jackson’s newborn pictures… most handsome baby ever, of course. No trying necessary 🙂

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3 weeks

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2am. And I’m busy admiring your toes. And the little milk-filled clef in your chin. You just somehow managed to drink, burp, and spit up about 3 ounces of breast milk on yourself. And me. And then fall blissfully asleep, wet sleeper and all. Miraculous. And now, basking in the blue light from the TV, I just want to stare at you. And sleep. Simultaneously.

You have been with us for 3 weeks now, and it’s been a beautiful privilege getting to know you. I am ever amazed by how you’ve filled out those newborn wrinkles already. You’re pushing 10 pounds, based on the exact science of momma weighing herself holding you, then re-weighing without holding you and subtracting the difference. We’ve learned your likes, your loves, your little chatty noises. You’ve taught us devotion in a way unknown to anyone but brand new parents. We love you Jackson. Wooky. Bubba, bubbles, monk, momma’s man. You respond to all of these names. (i hope I am not contributing to a future personality disorder). See ya in a couple hours and we’ll do this all over again.
~ mommy

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